This Week in NFL Betting by the Numbers
by Ricky Dimon - 10/4/2012
You think October is for baseball? Think again. It’s been an absolutely insane NFL season so far; for players, fans, officials, wanna-be officials…everyone. And there’s no reason to think that’s about to change anytime soon. Heading into Week 5, here are some numbers to prove it:
1 – Times Chris Brown and Rihanna were caught hooking up in a bathroom this week. Also the number of bathroom fights caught on video between Raiders fans this season. The good news for everyone, including the 1-4 Raiders, is that they have a bye this week.
725,274 – Dollars won by Ontario, Canada native Gino DiFelice thanks to the Week 3 Monday night “Fail Mary” disaster between the Seahawks and Packers. DiFelice needed Seattle to win in order to complete a perfect 15-for-15 ledger on his betting ticket. It proved to be a “Golden” ticket after Tate went up and “caught” Russell Wilson’s now-infamous heave. The “Seattle Screwjob” may have screwed the shit out of Green Bay, but it certainly didn’t screw over this fellow. “I had the ticket sealed in an envelope and nobody knew until after the game until I told them," DiFelice told ESPN.com. “When the play was under review I couldn't believe what was happening. When the call was made, I went nuts. I ripped open the envelope to show them (wife and nephew). They couldn't believe it.” Nor could the Packers.
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15 – The number of Week 4 games officiated in a superior fashion to any previous NFL game played throughout the first three weeks of the season. Sure, it could have been a little better. I would have preferred to see Ed Hochuli do the Thursday night game in Baltimore and enter through the tunnel doing the Ray Lewis dance. I also would have liked to sneak a peek at video of Hochuli hitting the floor and doing pushups when he heard the lockout was over. And it’s safe to say the officiating of the Saints-Packers game was far from perfect. Still, bettors can rest assured that their plays won’t be affected in “Fail Mary”-esque proportions from this point forward.
5 – Interceptions thrown by Tony Romo in Monday night’s humiliating home loss to Chicago. Also, the number of fingers Dez Bryant has on each of his hands, none of which was used effectively against the Bears. The Cowboys have a week off to think about their transgressions and prepare for a Week 6 trip to Baltimore. Although the Ravens traditionally boast a dominant defense, they are just 23rd overall and 29th against the pass through four weeks.
3 – Undefeated teams remaining in the NFL (Arizona, Atlanta, and Houston). All three are favored to make it 5-0 this week despite all three taking to the road. Per Sportsbook.ag, the Cardinals are 1.5-point favorites at St. Louis on Thursday, the Falcons are giving three points to Washington, and the Texans are hefty nine-point favorites over the Jets on Monday night. Let’s be honest: all three unblemished squads should take care of business this week and improve to 5-0. But giving the points may also be a good idea, because this holy trinity is a combined 10-2 against the spread (Arizona and Atlanta are 3-1 ATS, Houston is 4-0 ATS).
69.6 – Mark Sanchez’ quarterback rating; third to last in the entire NFL among starting quarterbacks. “Right now, I think Mark gives us our best opportunity to win,” Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan said after last Sunday’s 34-0 loss to San Francisco. Now that’s a lie that puts even Mitt Romney’s performance in Wednesday’s first Presidential debate to shame. Still, Sanchez will remain the starter for now. Houston, meanwhile, returned two interceptions for TDs last week against Tennessee. I’m just saying….
0 – Number of games this week between teams with winning records. Also the number of games this week between teams with losing records. As such, only one game (Arizona at St. Louis on Thursday) features a spread lower than three. Five games have seven-point spreads or higher and two other teams are favored by at least six points. Combine all of these lopsided matchups (at least on paper) with the fact that we don’t have replacement refs to keep us on the edge of our seats, and we can assume that this week will be boring by NFL standards…. Which probably means things about to really get crazy.
254. 2 – Yards per game averaged by the Jacksonville. Not only is that dead last in the league, but it’s also more than 16 points shy of any other team. Nothing has changed since 2011. Literally nothing. This offense has about as much flair as President Obama’s two-minute closing statement on Wednesday night. “Jim (Lehrer), I want to thank you. And I want to thank Governor Romney. And I want to thank the University of Denver….” Four years ago this, four years ago that. Blah, blah, blah, blah. I benefited zero from watching it, and that’s exactly how I feel whenever I watch the Jags try to move the football. It will be even tougher to stomach this week since they have to go up against a scary Chicago defense. It’s not hard to figure out why this game offers the second-lowest Week 5 “over/under” number on Sportsbook.ag at 40.
2 – Interceptions thrown by Kevin Kolb last week, his first two of the year. He is (per Bovada) -215 to throw an interception on Thursday night, +175 to be pick-free.
4 – The Eagles’ combined margin over victory in three wins this season.
7 – Consecutive Colts’ home games that have gone under the total.
47 – The sum of Drew Brees’ consecutive games with a touchdown pass (47) plus the Saints’ wins this season (0).
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